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Skeleton Couple Unearthed Holding Hands for 700 Years

skeleton couple

Image credit: A couple who have been holding hands for 700 years have been uncovered at the ‘lost’ chapel of St. Morrell in Leicestershire. Credit: University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS)

“Til death do us part” is the very popular saying describing the true love between wife and husband. However the new finding of scientists may change it in some unusual case. Recently, during excavation of the “lost” chapel of St. Morrell in east Leicestershire, archeologists from the University of Leicester have unearthed eleven human skeletons, dating back nearly 700 years. To their surprise, among these skeletons, they discovered those of a man and a woman buried together and holding hands since the 14th century.

According to Vicki Score from the University of Leicester Archaeological Services, his team had found similar skeletons in previous situation where a couple was buried together at a single grave in Leicester, but in this case, they wondered why the couple was buried up there, because there was a perfectly good church in Hallaton. Therefore, it would allow scientists to think about that This the chapel should be used as certain kind of special place of burial those days.

Although the Chapel of St. Morrell was near, St. Michael was actually the main church in the town of Hallaton, which was the quite busy and prosperous town in the period of the Middle Ages, so its frequently-held fairs and scenic spots would have attracted many tourists and tradesmen. There exists such possibility that the newly found skeletons belonged to the people who were foreign or ill, or probably criminals and they were not allowed to be buried inside St. Michael’s church.

Even if archeologists are still unknown about the reason why they were buried far away from the main church, their bodies were actually positioned east-west, following the Christian tradition at that time, which was intended to prepare the dead for the Resurrection. However, clergy members were buried in the opposite direction, meaning they would face the congregation.

Apart from the lovers holding hands, the archeologists also found an older man who seemed to die from a blow on the head, possibly caused by a pole axe in the fight. In addition, the archeologists discovered a younger man with damaged teeth with his knees being drawn up to his chest.

Additionally, Vicki Score’s team has uncovered materials from the chapel itself, helping them identifying the floor plan of the chapel. At the excavation site, they also discovered plaster from wall, silver coins, stone masonry and tile dating from the 12th-16th centuries. As planed, the team would go on excavating the chapel as well as the cemetery. Since most records and any images concerning the church has been disappeared over the so long time, further explanation  and interpretation is needed in regard to the full context of this site.

Source:  LiveScience